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This is your next jam: Chairlift, Kelela, and more

This is your next jam: Chairlift, Kelela, and more

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The Boss is back, One Direction aren't perfect, and Selena can't keep her hands to herself

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Tim Barber

Welcome back to The Verge’s weekly musical roundup. I’m Jamieson, I’m still your host, and I hope you find your next jam this week!

Half of this week’s playlist is what I’d consider "rock music," and it makes for an interesting glance at the genre’s current state. Mom-friendly stadium stuff, brooding poetics, angry anthems, bluesy crooning, and a blast from the past from the Boss: it’s all been released in the last week. The guitar party is also tempered by a bunch of assertive, rhythmic pop from the likes of Chairlift, Kelela, and Selena Gomez.

One more note: I’ll be on The Verge’s Periscope this afternoon for a chat about this week’s playlist and anything else going on in music right now. I’ll be doing so weekly after this column gets posted on Friday afternoons, so be sure to tune in!

Bruce Springsteen, "Meet Me in the City":

The Ties That Bind: The River Collection is going to become Bruce Springsteen’s newest box set when it’s released this December; if its assorted outtakes are half as good as those collected on 2010’s The Promise, it’ll make a worthy listen. "Meet Me in the City" is a solid start: it’s a classic romp, one you could’ve told me was meant for Born to Run. The pianos are bright, the horns are wailing, and the Boss just wants to find something real. This brings me right back to high school nights spent driving around town in a pick-up truck with the windows down. It’s a cliché, sure — but it’s a good one, right?

City and Colour, "If I Should Go Before You":

If you’re looking at Dallas Green’s discography for the first time, it’s hard to figure out where his heart really lies. He’s spent a decade making luminous folk on his own as City and Colour; he softened Alexisonfire’s raging post-hardcore with tender vocal work throughout the ‘00s; he made a collaborative album with P!nk (yes, really) last year. Green’s never sounded more soulful than on new album If I Should Go Before You, and the title track puts his voice where it belongs: out in front, bearing a ton of emotion but stopping short of overwrought.

Chairlift, "Ch-Ching":

I was a big Chairlift fan when they stuck to making diaphanous electro-pop, the kind you can hear on 2012’s Something, but I never could’ve predicted this. "Ch-Ching" is bold, bass-rich, and brilliant. It’s the sound of a band transformed by an unexpected run-in with royalty, namely the Queen Bey herself; Caroline Polachek wrote "No Angel," one of the best tracks on 2013’s Beyoncé. "Ch-Ching" invites you to consider that experience a turning point for the band’s music. If the rest of Moth sounds like this when it’s released early next year, it could become 2016’s first great album.

Disclosure, "Jaded (Lone Remix)":

Imagine producer Matt Cutler taking a perfectly capable track from Disclosure’s new album Caracal, flying it first-class to an opulent island bar, and paying for an evening’s worth of strong strawberry daiquiris: this is the product. I feel like I’m holding my hands over some kind of musical radiator when I’m listening to this — that’s how much color and light the remix is throwing off. Cutler’s a joy, and if you’re fond of this you should head straight for his 2014 LP Reality Testing. If it’s new to you, you’re in for a treat.

Dilly Dally, "Purple Rage":

There are no frills on this howler from Toronto’s Dilly Dally, and that’s just fine: searing guitars, a throat-shredding vocal, and palpable anger are the only three ingredients you need for high-quality rock. There’s also plenty more where this came from on the band’s debut LP Sore, which was released last week — it’s worth your time if you find yourself hankering for a few more crushing riffs.

Kelela, "Gomenasai":

Kelela’s new EP Hallucinogen was finally released last week, and "Gomenasai" is its best track. It’s confident, amorphous, and unapologetic about its sexuality. I’ve never been totally sold on Kelela as a vocalist, but she sounds fantastic here, and I can’t imagine another artist putting this kind of track and this kind of performance together in one package.

MØ, "Kamikaze":

Karen Marie Ørsted scored a major international hit earlier this year by teaming up with Major Lazer and DJ Snake for "Lean On." "Kamikaze" is the first single from her as-yet-unnamed second LP, and Ørsted enlisted Diplo’s help for its production. It’s not as potent as "Lean On," but that’s a high bar to clear; it’s featherweight, vaguely tropical, and will help you forget winter’s slow creep if only for a few minutes, and that’s good enough for me.

One Direction, "Perfect":

I have just two points to make about this thoroughly agreeable, charming piece of pop-rock. First: this is the nicest, gentlest, most tender song about a crew of bad boys — "if you like cars and trouble up in hotel rooms," seriously — you could ever imagine. It’s like a teddy bear dressed up in an adorable little biker gang outfit. Second: Harry Styles has the lead writing credit on this song, and I want to acknowledge the brilliance of ripping off Taylor Swift’s "Style" — a song about Harry Styles — for what is ostensibly his rebuttal of Taylor Swift’s "Style." Harry Styles is the best songwriter on the planet, basically.

Protomartyr, "Cowards Starve":

And now for something less cuddly! This is one of the highlights on Protomartyr’s new LP The Agent Intellect, which was released last week, and it’s a stark, unsettling listen. Joe Casey isn’t a traditional singer, but he understands rhythm and intensity, and he knows how to fill in the gaps between the band’s blurry riffs. He’s a tactician, a skilled spot-picker, and that’s appropriate for Protomartyr’s intelligent, sharp brand of post-punk.

Selena Gomez, "Hands to Myself":

Selena Gomez isn’t the most powerful or distinctive vocalist in the world, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Her music benefits when she and her producers acknowledge that fact and write to accommodate it, and that’s what they do here: she’s a piece of the puzzle rather than a figure at the forefront, and her bigger moments are made to look more impressive by the gulf between them and her hushed, clipped verses. The result is something that sounds like an upper-case version of the xx, and it’s a great look for Selena. Smart writing always wins.

Here’s the running This Is Your Next Jam playlist — have an awesome weekend!

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago Dimorphos didn’t even see it coming

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Twitter
Richard LawlerTwo hours ago
A direct strike at 14,000 mph.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) scored a hit on the asteroid Dimorphos, but as Mary Beth Griggs explains, the real science work is just beginning.

Now planetary scientists will wait to see how the impact changed the asteroid’s orbit, and to download pictures from DART’s LICIACube satellite which had a front-row seat to the crash.


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The Verge
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.


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Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther WangSep 26
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Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


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External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


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Youtube
Richard LawlerSep 26
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.


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External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship.

The NSA whistleblower has been living in Russia for the 9 years — first as a refugee, then on a series of temporary residency permits. He applied for Russian citizenship in November 2020, but has said he won’t renounce his status as a U.S. citizen.


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External Link
Emma RothSep 26
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.


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External Link
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.


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James VincentSep 26
Today, 39 years ago, the world didn’t end.

And it’s thanks to one man: Stanislav Petrov, a USSR military officer who, on September 26th, 1983, took the decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack against the US. Petrov correctly guessed that satellite readings showing inbound nukes were faulty, and so likely saved the world from nuclear war. As journalist Tom Chivers put it on Twitter, “Happy Stanislav Petrov Day to those who celebrate!” Read more about Petrov’s life here.


Soviet Colonel who prevented 1983 nuclear response
Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images
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The Verge
James VincentSep 26
Deepfakes were made for Disney.

You might have seen the news this weekend that the voice of James Earl Jones is being cloned using AI so his performance as Darth Vader in Star Wars can live on forever.

Reading the story, it struck me how perfect deepfakes are for Disney — a company that profits from original characters, fans' nostalgia, and an uncanny ability to twist copyright law to its liking. And now, with deepfakes, Disney’s most iconic performances will live on forever, ensuring the magic never dies.


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External Link
Hurricane Fiona ratcheted up tensions about crypto bros in Puerto Rico.

“An official emergency has been declared, which means in the tax program, your physical presence time is suspended,” a crypto investor posted on TikTok. “So I am headed out of the island.” Perhaps predictably, locals are furious.


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The Verge
Richard LawlerSep 26
Teen hacking suspect linked to GTA 6 leak and Uber security breach charged in London.

City of London police tweeted Saturday that the teenager arrested on suspicion of hacking has been charged with “two counts of breach of bail conditions and two counts of computer misuse.”

They haven’t confirmed any connection with the GTA 6 leak or Uber hack, but the details line up with those incidents, as well as a suspect arrested this spring for the Lapsus$ breaches.